Chapter

Disasters as Political Challenges

David K. Twigg

in The Politics of Disaster

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780813041889
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780813043890 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5744/florida/9780813041889.003.0001
Disasters as Political Challenges

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It is a well-documented phenomenon that incumbents are generally advantaged when running for reelection. Various anecdotes about the effects of disaster on elections and public officials indicate a range of possible outcomes. New players may enter the field or incumbents may be blamed for disaster-related problems. Incumbents also may be perceived as effective leaders. Chapter 1 announces the trajectory of the entire book, which explores municipal and statewide elections after Hurricane Andrew in three distinct zones of damage: severe, moderate, and mild. By analyzing election results and utilizing interviews with incumbent elected officials and their key supporters, this study determines how officials responded to the hurricane, how they adjusted their campaigns, and how they perceived their reelection chances.

Keywords: Hurricane Andrew; hurricane damage zones; incumbency advantage; political challenge; political opportunity

Chapter.  4692 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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